Posts tagged ‘new york culinary school’

April 25, 2011

Woman with a Knife! (and other fun things like how to cut an onion)

by Jen Wanous

One of the things I was most excited to learn about in culinary school was how to use a knife.  There is something so hot about wielding a dangerous instrument, executing a task with effortless precision.  I wanted to be that Wonder Woman that can fillet a fish and stop a bullet cold.  With back to back classes on how-to, I started to build my repertoire of julienne, bruniose, chiffonade and other fancy French cuts.  Last week I cut 14 pineapples into a small dice in preparation for a dinner serving 100 people at which I worked.  It took me about four hours to do so, my hands smelled sweet for a whole day after and I was dang proud of my symmetrical tiny pieces.

An onion is something we all cut often.  It saves so much time to have a method of how to cut one properly.  Below is a video on how I cut an onion.  Enjoy the video!  xo

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Always use a sharp knife.

2. To avoid tears while cutting, chill the onion for 10 mins.

3. Keep your fingers tucked back behind your knife–even your thumb.


March 21, 2011

Bringing Beef Jerky

by Jen Wanous

Have I mentioned that my school is crunchy, earthy, herbal? Being educated in Santa Cruz, I am well versed in these ways. I have walked the straight and narrow as a vegan and was a proud (“meat is murder” bumper sticker sporting) vegetarian for 8 years. I have however since, changed my ways reigning as the current Bacon Throwdown champion of New York, enjoying the bounty of a carnivores diet.

In my class at culinary school, there are 16 of us. Five vegan. Four gluten-free. The rest are vegetarian, except for one other, besides me. (Maybe a few flexitarians when the ribs on the grill look too good.)

As a snack in my first week, I decided to pack along some beef jerky. High protein, low fat, stores well.  A shriveled up carcass of deliciousness resembling what a well mummified labia must look like.

As I slowly pulled it out of its pouch, I felt the 26 veggie eyeballs on my jerky. I quickly covered up the bag as I discreetly munched. I was sure that the beefy teriyaki aroma was filling the space around me and I would be detected. After getting through the tough chews of just a couple pieces, I stashed it back in my bag and decided to work on my corn chips.

Now, in my second week at school, I feel a bit better about my meat eating status. In fact, I just made a yummy bacon sandwich. As I’m writing this even, my fingers are slicked in a bit of lard, as I type this out on my handy dandy iPhone on my lunch break. (I do have a year’s supply of bacon you know!)

Here is the recipe:

Bacon Sammy

4 crisp pieces of bacon (more if you’re feelin it)*
2 slices of bread (sourdough is yum)
Goat cheese
Caramelized onions

Optional: sautéed kale
Parsley, chopped

* fake’in bacon will work too, veggies.

Here’s how you do caramelized onions:

Slice 1/2 an onion. Put about a tablespoon of hot fat in a pan. Add a few dashes of salt.  Med heat to get a little bit of browning on ’em then turn the heat down. Cook ’em for a good 15 mins on low heat until they get a really nice caramelly brown color. Pour a tad of wine in the pan (about 2tbs) to deglaze and pick up the deelish bits. Then you have caramelized onions to add to your bacon sammy.

Assemble all ingredients except the parsley in the sandwich. Place face open in a toaster oven or broiler for about 7 mins, until the goat cheese is browned. Add the parsley. Enjoy!